Green Gem: Shade Love with Hostas & Ferns

by Emily on June 15, 2011

We’ve mentioned before that we’re still waiting for some early signs of summer in the Pacific Northwest…waiting and waiting.  My garden is desperately waiting as well.  My bell peppers are wilting from too much rain, very little color from blossoms in our yard and sadly much delayed peonies (one of my favorite plants)!  But, I do have a thriving shade garden population of Hosta & Fern that have brought hope to my life that my garden will look good….soon!


Hosta is a really great plant to have in your garden beds because it has such a variation of beautiful, lush, green leaves that can fill out a great space in your garden.  They thrive as shade garden plants and may be found in your local nursery or garden center in the ground cover section.  I started with just 3 last year when we moved in and have grown my collection to nearly 10 now!  Thanks to wiki info, I have learned that there are between 23-45 species of hosta that share the same family tree as the lily.  There are a few species that will actually produce white/light purple delicate flowers but what is unusual is that they open in the evening and are closed by the morning hours-a night owl!

Lady Fern

If you’re a Washingtonian, you might think that the fern is our state flower, but no it doesn’t produce a flower.  But, it graces our forest beds because it is a native plant here in the NW.  The Lady Fern and the Western Sword Fern are the two that I have scattered about my yard because I like the two opposite ends of the green spectrum and that they are on opposite ends of looks too.  The Lady Fern is just that…delicate with wispy leaves where the Western Sword sounds manly right-yep…deep bold forest green and thick leaves that cover great area in reach.

Western Sword + Hosta (They play nicely together don’t they?)


I hope the rest of the country is enjoying more sun!  Although I’m content for the moment with my leafy green plants, I would like to see some color in my yard!

images from MY YARD! But more importantly, info from Wikipedia + Washington Native Plant Society

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